under-sampled middle and western branches of Shade River Watershed (SRW) in SE
Ohio were investigated as part of the
Ohio University—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR grant. This
project was for monitoring the quality of watersheds in Ohio and classifying them according to their
physical, chemical, and biological conditions. Water samples, as well as field
parameters, were taken at twenty-two sites for chemical analyses. The ions analyzed
included Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Al, NO3, SO4, HCO3, and total
PO4, while the
field parameters measured included pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), total dissolved
solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC), and alkalinity. To assess the water
quality within the SRW, the analyzed ions and field parameters were compared to
the USEPA criteria for the survival of aquatic life. Analytical results showed
that the watershed is dominated by Ca-HCO3waters with
DO, Fe, Mn, and PO4being the
main causes of impairment within the streams. The relatively elevated
concentrations of manganese and less extent iron may be associated with the
local geology and the acidic nature of the soils. The high alkalinity and calcium
concentrations are due to the limestone geology. The elevated phosphate concentration may be due
to anthropogenic sources, fertilizers, or contributions from phosphorus-rich bedrock that differs
geochemically from other areas.
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